Meet Uriel De Santiago, a HealthPartners interpreter who is a shining example of our deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. He, along with all of our interpreters, plays an important role in that commitment. They make sure our members and patients get the care they need in a language they can understand.
Uriel greets every patient he interprets for in the waiting area and stays with them throughout their appointment. He helps them take the necessary steps to get ready for the doctor, like helping translate short forms, and is on-hand to walk them through the next steps after their appointment is over, including scheduling future visits.
Every day is a little different for Uriel De Santiago. Some days he’ll be interpreting for hand therapy or optometry appointments, other days he’ll work with patients receiving colorectal cancer screenings.
While colorectal screenings are different than other types of doctor’s appointments, from Uriel’s perspective as an interpreter, they are becoming a lot more common. Uriel estimates he interprets for at least 4-5 colorectal screenings per week at the HealthPartners Specialty Center in St. Paul. One of our goals at HealthPartners is to reduce gaps in colorectal cancer screening rates between different ethnicities. Making care accessible and equal no matter a person’s race or culture is an important part of making our communities healthier.
Having previously worked as a registered dental assistant and later as an X-ray technician in an X-ray lab, Uriel likes working in the medical field and how much he learns every day. "The most gratifying part of my job is helping patients get the best medical attention possible."
Born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles, California, Uriel began speaking multiple languages from a young age. He, his parents and two brothers spoke Spanish at home and with their congregation, and he learned English at school growing up. Uriel and his wife of now twenty years moved to Minnesota in 2001 to help the Spanish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area, and are currently in the process of learning Chinese to help the Mandarin language group in Burnsville, MN.
To schedule an interpreter to come to a care visit or procedure with you or a loved one, call the HealthPartners Appointment Center (952-967-7676) and say the language you need (“Somali” for example).